Regional Heritage Program:
Rocky Mountain Archaeology, Culture and History

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Petroglyph of Sun Dial
"It's About Time" Waiting silently in the mountains, canyons, and river valleys of our national forests and grasslands are the remnants of past cultures that confront us and remind us of the centuries-old relationship between people and the land. These heritage resources hold clues to past ecosystems, add richness and depth to our landscapes, provide links to living traditions, and help transform a beautiful walk in the woods into an unforgettable encounter with history. - National Heritage Strategy

Purpose of the Heritage Program:

Heritage Icon - A white arrowhead and wagon wheel inside a brown squareTo protect significant heritage resources, to share their values with the American people, and to contribute relevant information and perspectives to natural resource management.
In so doing, we will:
  • Ensure that future generations will have an opportunity to discover the human story etched on the landscapes of our national forests and grasslands;
  • Make the past come alive as a vibrant part of our recreational experiences and community life; and
  • Connect people to the land in a way that will help us better understand and manage forest ecosystems.

Want to Get Involved?

The links below show the many ways that the public can experience the multitude of Heritage sites that abound throughout the Rocky Mountain Region, along with some of the tools necessary to protect our valuable Heritage sites. Click on a subject area and you will be taken to that page for further information:



Archaeological Heritage of Colorado’s Ute Tribe Part of National Forests’ History in Rocky Mountain Region

The remains of a free-standing wickiup is inspected in Mesa County, Colorado. Click on the photo to view an article on the Forest Service Blog webpage. (Photo courtesy Dominguez Archaeological Research Group)There are small piles of fallen wooden timbers on national forests in the Rocky Mountain Region that tell a story of the area’s past. They are part of aboriginal wooden structures known as wickiups, a conical-shaped dwelling used by native people. The relics are part of the tribe’s legacy of living on these lands and are a part of the cultural history on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre & Gunnison (GMUG), Rio Grande, San Juan and White River National Forests. Click on the photo to the left to view an interesting blog that describes the history of these wickiups.